Greece has caught the imagination of travelers, artists and writers throughout history, but it was at the beginning of the 20th century that people’s fascination with the European country became a trend and it became a popular destination for vacations.
The Greek National Tourism Organization was founded in 1929, as part of the first organized effort to promote Greece as a destination for international travelers. One of the assets the organization resorted to were posters, the main promotional medium of the era.
Colorful images of Greek landscapes, historical monuments, lush nature and the wonders of everyday life were leveraged to entice international travelers.
While the posters may seem relatively simple by today’s standards, Greece enlisted acclaimed artists to create the images. The celebrated Greek photographer Elli Seraidari, also known as Nelly, produced the image for the first poster, which depicts the Parthenon bathed in sunlight.
The country's experienced Greek painters like Moralis, Mytaras, Fassianos, Tsoklis and Vassiliou participated in the campaigns from the 1930s until the 1970s, depicting themes of summer, light, sea and ancient civilization.
In the 1980s, the posters got a more standard commercial character that has more or less dominated the organization's aesthetic choices since.
The catalogues of posters of each decade from 1929 to 2009 can be downloaded from the official website here.
This story originally appeared on HuffPost Greece and was translated into English